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12 neat hidden features in the iPhone X

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With the iPhone X, Apple has had to rethink many of the iOS core gestures. The new device features a brand new design with a taller display, Face ID and no home button.

If you plan on buying a new iPhone X, it’s going to take a while to get used to these new metaphors. So here’s a list of some not-so-obvious features in the iPhone X. Matthew Panzarino also wrote a thorough review of Apple’s new device in case you want to dive deeper.

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Foursquare is finally proving its (dollar) value

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In 2009, Facebook was just getting popular with moms and grandmas. People were playing Farmville. Twitter was just becoming mainstream. And Foursquare launched on to the scene.

Back then, Foursquare was just another social network, letting users check in to locations they visit and potentially receive badges for those check-ins.

A lot has changed since 2009, but Foursquare still remains, though not without some adversity. Today, in a review of 2017, Foursquare has announced that last year is the third year in a row in which Foursquare has seen at least 50 percent revenue growth.

Foursquare’s data, with over 3 billion visits/month around the globe, 105 million global venues, and 25 million users who have opted in to always-on location sharing, is incredibly valuable to advertisers, businesses and developers. But transitioning from a consumer app to an enterprise platform — going from an Instagram to a comScore — has not been without its trials.

In 2014, Foursquare decided to ditch its original legacy app. Instead, the company announced, it would offer check-ins and ambient location-sharing via a new app called Swarm and the new and improved Foursquare would focus solely on place recommendations, essentially turning Foursquare into a direct competitor to Yelp.

The only way to viably sell data to advertisers, businesses and developers is to have your own army of hungry, active users to provide that data to begin with. And the old Foursquare was bloated and directionless, with a variety of potential uses. In short, it felt stale during a time when new apps were springing up left and right.

But Foursquare knew that the data it was collecting on users would prove its value eventually. And it was able to continue convincing investors that that would be the case.

While the unbundling effort was a risky bet, it seems to have paid off for the company. Both apps have over 50 million monthly active users as of 2016, which has allowed Foursquare to put their foot on the gas with enterprise products.

For example, Pinpoint by Foursquare (an advertising product) now boasts more than half of the Ad Age 100 as advertisers. Attribution by Foursquare lets those brands measure how effective that advertising is. Attribution more than doubled revenue in 2017.

Developer tools are also an integral part of Foursquare’s business. The Pilgrim SDK and Places API “grew substantially,” according to a post by CEO Jeff Glueck, and now provides location tech to 125K+ developers.

Foursquare added 50+ new roles over 2017, including positions in engineering, sales, creative, business development, marketing, and ops. In 2018, the company is opening a new engineering office in Chicago, and plans to grow the team by 30 percent over the course of the year.

It’s taken nearly a decade, but Foursquare is finally proving that it can turn years of consumer data into a viable revenue stream.
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Okta teams up with ServiceNow to bring identity layer to breach containment

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Okta and fellow cloud company ServiceNow got together to build an app that helps ServiceNow customers using their security operations tools find security issues related to identity and take action immediately.

The company launched the Okta Identity Cloud for Security Operations app today. It’s available in the ServiceNow app store and has been designed for customers who are using both toolsets. When a customer downloads and installs the app, it adds a layer of identity information inside the ServiceNow security operations interface, giving the operations team access to information about who specifically is involved with a security problem without having to exit their tool to find the information.

Okta is a cloud identity management company, while ServiceNow is a cloud service management company. ServiceNow approached Okta about this integration because research has shown that that vast majority of breaches are related to compromised user credentials. The sooner the security operations team can track down the source of those credentials, the sooner they can begin resolving situation.

The way it works is a company detects a breach through the ServiceNow security tool. Instead of searching logs and and taking days or weeks to find the source of the breach, security operations can see the problem user directly in the ServiceNow interface.

With that information, they can decide immediately how to mitigate the issue. That could involve forcing the person to log out of all their applications and logging back in with new credentials and two-factor identification, suspending the user for 24 hours or a number of other actions at the discretion of the security personnel.

Okta identity tools in the ServiceNow interface. Screenshot: ServiceNow

The combination of the two products results in a better solution for customers who are using both tools anyway, says Okta COO and co-founder Frederic Kerrest. “It reduces incident triage, improves risk scoring and accelerates containment,” he explained.

The integration takes advantage of the Okta Advanced Integration Network and involves a set of APIs for for inserting Okta functionality inside of other applications. Among the other companies Okta is working with on this kind of integration is Palo Alto Networks.

This is not the first time the two companies have worked together, says Kerrest. There have been a couple of other cases where ServiceNow has used Okta as the default identity management solution in their products.
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Kittyhawk adds automated multi-waypoint flights to its drone-control software

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All-in-one drone management app Kittyhawk has added yet another feature: multi-waypoint automated flights. This is an essential feature for lots of commercial drone applications and testing, and the fewer apps and platforms you need to accomplish a task, the better.

Kittyhawk (not to be confused with Larry Page and Sebastian Thrun’s Kitty Hawk) is an app that puts many of the most frequently needed drone-related services in one place: pre-flight checklists, airspace maps, hyperlocal weather, flight planning, live secure video, and now, direct flight automation via waypoints.

It’s pretty straightforward: just set your home location, then start picking coordinates, altitudes, and attitudes — as well as some aesthetic choices like whether you want the drone to round off its turns or follow them down to inch.

In a helpful touch that may prevent some embarrassing flight failures, the system won’t let you set waypoints outside the range of the drone or the control radio. So no accidentally fat-fingering a flight path that takes your Phantom a couple thousand miles off course.

There are plenty of options out there for the many new commercial and semi-pro drone operations popping up all over the place, but it never hurts to add more capabilities or gather them into one handy app. The new features should arrive soon, but the company didn’t provide a date.
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